New Web site offers cybersecurity resources

A federal agency has unveiled a new Web page offering small businesses online tools and other resources to promote their computer security.

The U.S. Small Business Administration new cybersecurity Web page is located at www.sba.gov/cybersecurity.

“Cybersecurity is one of our nation’s most pressing national security priorities, and America’s 28 million small businesses, which create two out of every three new jobs in the U.S., are especially at risk,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “Small employers are quickly becoming a larger target for criminals looking to access sensitive data because small businesses typically have limited resources for information systems security.”

“In an effort to combat cyberattacks against small businesses, the SBA’s online tools will help employers identify information security vulnerabilities that put their companies at risk,” Contreras-Sweet added.

A 2013 survey conducted by the National Small Business Association found that 44 percent of small businesses reported being the victim of a cyberattack, with an average cost of approximately $9,000 per attack.

Small businesses have valuable information cybercriminals seek, including employee and customer data, bank account information, access to business finances and intellectual property. Small business employers also provide access to larger networks such as supply chains.

The SBA cybersecurity Web page offers resources for small business owners, including online courses, training opportunities, blogs and webinars. The Web page also helps small business owners:

Protect against viruses, spyware and other malicious code.

Educate employees about cyberthreats.

Safeguard Internet connections by using a firewall and encrypting information.

Use best practices on payment cards, including shifting to more secure credit card payment technology known as EMV.

The Web page also details key steps to take if a firm is the victim of a cybersecurity attack as well as links to tools from the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Communications Commission and Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The SBA encourages small business employers to take the cybersecurity for small businesses Web course for best practices on protecting business and customer information as well as to use the Web page for tips and resources on safeguarding data against cyberthreats.